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Attitude is Everything

I recently read an article about Walt Disney and his business philosophy. One of Disney’s quotes from the article was this: “You hire the attitude. You can train the skill.”

This once again reinforced what I’ve said many times in my posts: attitude is everything, both when you’re interviewing for a job and when you’re a new employee on any job.

Case in point.  A while back, I brought in a temporary worker to help my desktop computer support team with a large project to upgrade computers in several of our offices.  This does not require a great deal of technical skill, so I gave very low experience requirements to the temporary employment agency we use.  Basically, all I needed was someone who knew how to disconnect the old computers and reconnect and turn on the new computers.  The person they sent me was a young man (22 years old) who we’ll call Fred.

Fred had a smile on his face from the moment he walked in the door.  He was pleasant, friendly, knew just enough to get the job done and our users loved him.  Fred had a great work ethic and always showed up for work on time or early.  He willingly took on the drudge tasks that others didn’t like and he had an eager and inquisitive mind.  In fact, he was rapidly learning other things about our technology infrastructure and after a few weeks was answering questions and solving technical problems on his own. I can’t think of a single person who had a negative thing to say about him.

After a couple of months, I had an opening for a journey-level technical support person.  Fred barely met the minimum qualifications, so I got my support team together and asked if we should post the position and find someone with more experience, or hire Fred and train him. The vote was unanimous: hire Fred.  They loved his work ethic and attitude and knew he would quickly learn everything he needed to do the job.

And they were right.  Fred has been with me for about a year now and has surpassed many of my more experienced staff as far as technical knowledge is concerned.  He still has a great attitude and is probably the most popular person on my team in the eyes of our users.  I’m predicting great things for him in the future.

As a hiring manager, I’ve always said that attitude is everything, whether it’s the theme park business or information technology. If you remember nothing else about this post, please remember this: your resume may get you the interview, but your attitude will get you the job.

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